Showing posts from February, 2018

Summing Up 2017, Winter Notes and Spring 2018 Just Around the Corner

This summary is way overdue. Better late than never.

The kestrels here in Ulster County had a seemingly rough time of it in 2017. Lots of starlings in this area create stiff competition for nest boxes, which are premium nesting sites for cavity-nesting birds. The rich habitat and abundant nest sites (boxes) at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR create an ideal situation for breeding kestrels. As in 2016, all 6 boxes at the refuge were occupied in 2017. While last year saw all 6 pairs raise successful broods, only three pairs were successful this year. Birds fared even worse at other monitored boxes in the county, with only 3 pairs pulling off young out of 18 boxes. Anyway, here are some statistics from the 2017 Breeding Season.

2017 Productivity

- Kestrels occupied 17 boxes out of 24 total -  71% Occupancy, which is pretty good.
- Only 6 boxes were successful (3 at Shawangunk Grasslands, 3 elsewhere in the county).*
- A total of 61 eggs were laid spread over 13 of the occupied boxes. Average c…